An application to have a trial, involving Tipperary TD Mr Michael Lowry, be moved to Dublin, has been made at Clonmel Circuit Court today. Council for the State Remy Farrell made the claim that a jury in Co Tipperary could be biased, objectively or subjectively, having given Deputy Lowry their first preference votes during past General Elections.
Mr Lowry stands accused of four charges of knowingly filing incorrect tax returns on separate dates in 2003 and 2007, charges which he fully denies.
Defence Councillor Mr Patrick Treacy today claimed that the whole case against Mr Lowry was tainted with illegalities, pointing out that personal financial details regarding Mr Lowry’s affairs had been possibly leaked to both national and local media, in the days immediately after Revenue officials raided his home.
Clonmel Circuit Court heard the State claim that Mr Lowry had consistently gotten between one-quarter and one-third of the overall North Tipperary electoral vote in recent state elections and that a great number of his loyal voters in North Tipperary, who would make up the future body of jurors, could therefore be biased, thus it would be a manifest injustice to have the trial heard in Co Tipperary.
Mr Lowry’s legal team claimed that their client had no liability for the alleged taxes sought and that this was backed up by two sets of expert accountants. They also stated that the finances, which are the subject of the four charges, are now the subject of an appeal already forwarded to the Revenue Commissioners.
Judge Mr Thomas Teehan has now withheld his decision, on all submissions, until October 2nd next, before Kilkenny Circuit Court.
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny hand in hand with new Tánaiste Joan Burton have announced details of their Cabinet reshuffle with Tipperary TD Alan Kelly now appointed as the new Minister for Environment and Local Government.
Yesterday’s announcement also saw the promotion of Paschal Donohoe as Minister for Transport, Jan O’Sullivan as Minister for Education and Alex White as Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources. Heather Humphreys replaces Jimmy Deenihan at Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Simon Coveney takes on the Defence portfolio while still remaining as Minister for Agriculture.
Charlie Flanagan will takes over at the Department of Foreign Affairs and James Reilly has been demoted as expected, moving to Children and Youth Affairs, while Leo Varadkar will replace the latter as Minister for Health with Kathleen Lynch still remaining as a junior Minister in Health.
These appointments were formalised by President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday afternoon.
Will Co Tipperary continue to run ‘Cap In Hand’ following the latest Cabinet reshuffle?
Taoiseach Enda Kenny stated during all of this reshuffling that the Government would now increase the overall household benefit package by €100, to compensate for the introduction of water charges. We here in Tipperary wait anxiously to see how this can be achieved and endeavour to understand why, if statement is correct, is it necessary to compensate for water charges when same could be simply reduced by the stated figure of €100.
The Taoiseach also stated that the system of child and income supports would be soon revised to reduce disincentives to persons returning to work, with access to subsidised childcare to be extended. He did not state where these new disincentivising employment opportunities could be located, but did promise an unrelenting focus once again on future job creation.
With newly appointed Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Alan Kelly also gaining a seat on the Government’s front bench, he immediately becomes the first elected TD to do so in this county in over a decade. He will, by accepting his new ministerial duties at the top table, be now expected to look after his county’s flagging interests. His Party here in Tipperary has a major rebuilding struggle ahead, as indicated following a recent disastrous showing in Tipperary local and European elections.
While this new Labour Cabinet Tipperary appointee certainly does not lack personal confidence or indeed personal ambition, Tipperary will now be looking for him to deliver both funding and employment, factors that he and indeed his Fine Gael government colleagues, e.g. Coonan etc, have miserably failed to achieve over the past number of years. His new portfolio as Minister for the Environment and Local Government will certainly continue to attract national criticism given his Labour party’s stance and broken promises, prior to the last General Election, e.g. Introduction of Water Charges.
The hard working yet successful Hidden Tipperary Tourism Group are still waiting very tolerantly, regarding promised confirmation on the Derrynaflan Hoard’s brief vacation to Thurles from Dublin, but time is running out and in view of Mr Kelly’s latest acquired portfolio, their obscured future plans for 2015 now remain further shaded in murkiness.
North Tipperary LEADER Partnership are also waiting next in line, hatchet in hand, as Mr Kelly will be well aware, following the well attended rally held outside of Dáil Eireann on Wednesday July 9th last, addressed by Marian Harkin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada MEP and others.
Regarding Enda Kenny’s promised disincentivising job opportunities, Minister Kelly will be well aware of the latest unemployment figures from the CSO showing that dole queues in Co Tipperary are continuing to grow longer. The IDA’s report for the first six months of the year show that close to 8,000 jobs are being created across Ireland, but none of these promised investments have been allocated to County Tipperary.
Tipperary will wait and monitor, but nevertheless for the time being at least, we heartily congratulate Minister Alan Kelly on his recent success and wish him well in his new roles, both in rebuilding Labour and in successfully gaining his new seat at the Cabinet table.
With new regulations having been approved aimed at a crackdown on people who do not subscribe to a TV licence, Labour Minister Pat Rabbitte threatened today that An Post will now attempt to access Sky and UPC Subscriptions Data to work out who has not paid their annual TV Licence.
Contradicting the Minister; UPC have stated it will not now share any data with An Post as part of the Ministers threatened crackdown, as they believe they are not legally obliged to grant An Post access to their Cable Subscription Data.
Presently it is estimated that 15% of the Irish population are evading TV licence payments, however access to cable subscription data UPC believe could contravene their obligations under Irish data protection.
Why are 15% of the Irish population involved in TV licence evasion? Could be caused by same being forced to watch Miriam O’Callaghan interview self promoting, hustler style, so-called top Irish celebrates: many pulled from within her own hallowed RTE, all desperately seeking free national advertising for their badly written books or even worse – free air time for their even less talented musical soundtracks.
Perhaps Minister Rabbitte hasn’t yet viewed the latest Live Register Unemployment Data Figures; latter which showed the numbers of persons presently seeking some form of monthly ‘Gratuitous Relief’ here in County Tipperary.
Last month Thurles was the worst affected area, with some 2,861 people on the dole queue; while Clonmel ran a close second on 2,811. Nenagh numbers showed 2,783, but added together all social welfare offices in Tipperary recorded a rise on June unemployment figures of some 385 persons, latter well above already published May 2014 figures.
Perhaps Bread and Cheese took priority over a mere TV licence this month Minister! Maybe Miriam O’Callaghan would cover this issue on a future programme, “Genuinely.”
Keep LEADER in the Community: NO to Alignment
North Tipperary Leader Partnership
North Tipperary LEADER Partnership, and other Local Development Companies from across the country, are calling on communities to support the forthcoming LEADER Rally in support of the retention of the bottom-up approach of LEADER, by local development companies.
The rally will take place on Wednesday July 9th at 1.30 pm outside Dáil Eireann and will be addressed by Marian Harkin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada MEP and others.
North Tipperary LEADER Partnership has successfully delivered the LEADER Programme for over 20 years. Now, however, the government is proposing to change this system, which is regarded by the EU as being a model of best practice throughout Europe and one that has successfully supported the economic, social and community development of rural communities throughout Ireland in recent decades.
The proposed policy change being driven forward by Minister Phil Hogan & the Department of Environment Community and Local Government is called Alignment, and aims to transfer the delivery of the LEADER Programme to newly established committees within each Local Authority Area. Local Development Companies are now entering a critical phase in determining the outcome of this alignment process; the protection of the LEADER model in Ireland, which is the most successful LEADER delivery structure in the EU, is in danger of being lost, and with it, the years of experience, skills, expertise & local relationships built up over the years by North Tipperary LEADER Partnership and similar companies.
Now, more than ever, we need your support, so that communities, and not Local Authority Committees, can continue to decide how LEADER funding should be administered in this area.
Coach transport from North Tipperary to Dublin will be provided free to all those wishing to support our cause on the day. Buses will leave Thurles at 9.00am from outside the Sarsfields Centre and from Nenagh at 9.00am outside the Abbey Court Hotel. All rally attendee’s should be back in both venues by 6.30pm.
For further information, to confirm your attendance or enquiries regarding coach routes, please Tel: 087 9873489 or email email@example.com or contact Jim Finn, (Chairperson), Tel: 086 6037222.
American Diplomat and former Northern Ireland peace talks Chairperson, Dr. Richard Haass, in the company of his wife, son and daughter, will personally make the trip to Tipperary to receive the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award. This event will take place at a ceremony in Ballykisteen Hotel and Golf Resort on Monday next, June 23rd.
Dr. Haass receives the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award for his significant role in his attempts to assist the peace process here in the six northern counties which make up Northern Ireland.
Although all the political parties involved did not reach any true and final agreement, the blueprint then laid down by Dr Haass, in his efforts to address Northern Ireland’s future concerns, is observed as representing very considerable progress in the way forward.
This year, on the eve of the award ceremony, the people of Ireland will have an unique opportunity to meet Dr. Haass at a special admission-free Tipperary Peace Convention event – titled “An Evening with Richard Haass,” This event, beginning at 7.30pm, will feature Dr Haass being interviewed by Mr Martin Quinn at Ballykisteen Hotel, where it is hoped Dr. Hass will discuss his life and diplomat involvement in the presently stalled Northern Ireland peace talks, while accepting questions from the audience in attendance.
Previous recipients of the Tipperary International Peace award have included Sir Bob Geldof, South African President Nelson Mandela (Madiba), Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the late US Senator Edward Kennedy and his sister, the former Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy-Smith, Dr Sima Samar, Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband Senator Martin McAleese and just last August, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, latter who also collected her 2012 prize in person.
Music for this year’s events will be supplied by members of the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland.
Further detailed information on this welcome visit to Tipperary, by Dr. Richard Haass, can be obtained by Telephoning 062-33990.